HHM CPAs Acquires Local Accounting Firm

Chattanooga, Tenn.-based Henderson Hutcherson & McCullough (FY17 net revenue of $24.4 million), an INSIDE Public Accounting Best of the Best Firm, has announced its acquisition of Grisham Wildman & Work (GWW,) a Memphis, Tenn., firm that focuses on automobile dealerships.

The combined firms will operate as HHM CPAs at HHM’s Memphis location at 1755 Kirby Parkway.

Prior to starting their own firm, Dave Wildman and Jerry Grisham spent more than 15 years working at George B. Jones, one of the first CPA firms to specialize in the automotive industry. They began their own firm in 1993, working with dealerships in the Memphis area and across the nation.

“The automotive industry experience Dave and Jerry bring to the table will complement the depth of service provided by HHM’s dealership group, and we are looking forward to strengthening the relationships with their clients that have been built over their long careers,” says HHM partner Darrin Yoder, who leads the Memphis office dealership practice.

The acquisition brings HHM’s employee total to 155, including the 30 team members in the Memphis office. All GWW’s employees were retained in the merger. Both Wildman and Grisham joined HHM as directors.

 Squire & Company Names CEO and OMPs

Jonyce Bullock

Orem, Utah-based Squire & Company (FY17 net revenue of $18.8 million) announced that MP Jonyce Bullock will take on a new role as CEO and will also serve as OMP in Orem.

In addition, Shane Edwards was appointed as OMP for the downtown Salt Lake City office. Both will continue to serve on the executive committee and board of directors.

Shane Edwards

“A renewed focus on providing outstanding client service through industry specialization and the addition of the Salt Lake office to our Squire team have resulted in significant growth and expansion during 2018,” says Bullock. “To help us be best prepared to capitalize on the opportunities for each of our offices and meet the expanding needs of our clients, we have realigned our organizational structure and made changes in key leadership positions. We are now properly positioned to continue our growth through 2019 and beyond.”

Squire offers audit, tax, transaction support, ERP implementation, wealth management and outsourced CFO/controller services. Squire has been in business since 1973 and acquired the Salt Lake City operations in July 2018.

REDW Joins With Mack & Rohwedder to Expand Tax Practice

Albuquerque, N.M.-based REDW (FY17 net revenue of $29.7 million) has announced that tax and accounting firm Mack & Rohwedder of Scottsdale, Ariz., has joined the firm effective Nov. 1. The combined firm will operate under the REDW brand.

Steve Cogan, REDW’s MP says, “REDW’s decision to join forces is part of its strategic plan to continue to expand its tax service offerings and geographic footprint in the Arizona market.”

REDW continues to carefully evaluate opportunities for expansion by joining with highly reputable, locally owned firms that share similar values and a strong commitment to helping clients succeed in today’s business environment – M&R is that firm. As part of this merger, Barbara Rohwedder, M&R’s MP, and Claire Oddo, senior accountant, have joined the firm as tax senior manager and tax senior accountant, respectively.

Rohwedder says, “My intent was to find a firm that offered just the right combination of expertise, talent, resources, client focus and culture. I found that in REDW, a firm that has long been respected in Arizona and all throughout the Southwest.” She adds, “Ultimately, though, it is all about my clients and my team. I wanted to merge into a firm I trust will meet their needs and service expectations now and in the future. Similarly, I was looking for a firm that can provide real career opportunities for team members.”

Sandy Abalos, PIC of REDW’s Phoenix office, says, “The acquisition of Barbara’s practice deepens our commitment to meeting the growing needs of our diverse client base, here in Arizona and all throughout the Southwest and beyond. Barbara’s specialty areas complement REDW’s tax offerings, including individual and business tax planning, closely held business taxation, small business accounting systems consulting and individual taxation.”

AAFCPAs Admits Ripianzi to Partnership

Joyce Ripianzi

Westborough, Mass.-based AAFCPAs (FY17 net revenue of $30.2 million) has announced the admission of a new partner, Joyce Ripianzi.

Ripianzi will be a core contributor to AAFCPAs’ managed accounting solutions practice, providing outsourced accounting solutions, including cloud-based bookkeeping and CFO services.

“Joyce’s reputation and great work in the accounting and nonprofit worlds make her a strong addition to the leadership at AAFCPAs,” says Carla McCall, co-MP at AAFCPAs, which has 26 partners and a total staff of 200. “As we continue to expand our footprint, Joyce will add to the wealth of insight and energy available at the firm.”

She has more than 30 years of diverse experience in public accounting at national and regional CPA and consulting firms, and is the former CFO of a technology networks integration firm. She also has deep experience in forming and running successful nonprofit organizations.

“AAFCPAs is passionate about helping others and does not shy away from tackling difficult challenges,” says Ripianzi. “The modern accounting and finance function is on the cusp of change, and I am thrilled to help lead the charge alongside such a talented team.”

GBQ Expands Services with Keep Financials

Columbus, Ohio-based GBQ (FY17 net revenue of $31.4 million) has launched Keep Financials, a comprehensive outsourced accounting and bookkeeping practice.

The aim of Keep Financials is to remove the burden of back-office tasks from business owners while offering “financial intelligence” to help move the business forward, the firm says. Entrepreneurs and business owners have told GBQ that there’s a gap in the market for basic accounting and bookkeeping services.

Managing Director Darci Congrove says, “By creating a virtual bookkeeping service, we’ve rounded out our GBQ offerings to serve every financial need a business owner might face, from basic accounting and financial statement preparation to tax planning and advice, special project assistance, business valuations and transaction assistance.”

Sensiba San Filippo Mourns the Passing of its Founder

Steve San Filippo

Steve San Filippo

Pleasanton, Calif.-based Sensiba San Filippo (FY18 net revenue of $30.1 million) announces the passing of founder Steve San Filippo.

San Filippo died Oct. 9 at 67, leaving his wife, Julie, and his three children, Marisa, Dominic and Joseph.

Like most Silicon Valley business stories, SSF had humble origins starting in San Filippo’s home. Filippo’s big heart and humorous nature translated over 40 years later into one of the largest Northern California full service accounting firms with a firm culture so strong that it became California’s first accounting firm to become a certified B Corporation, the firm announced.

He was heavily involved in his community, working with many youth organizations and Serra High School San Mateo, the Sequoia Hospital Foundation and the Sequoia Hospital Board in Redwood City, among many others. Steve also served as planning commissioner for his adopted hometown of San Carlos.

As a business leader, he left a great legacy. As a friend and mentor, his loss is particularly profound.

“My friend Steve provided me an opportunity to have a wonderful professional career and a wonderful life. As a result of his entrepreneurial spirit, we now provide 200 other people and their families the same opportunity at SSF,” says MP John Sensiba. “We will carry on serving our families, communities and clients in his memory. There isn’t a way to fill the hole that is left by Steve’s passing. We will strive to honor his memory every day in the way that we treat others and the standards to which we hold ourselves. I miss my partner, my mentor and my friend.”

His memoriam page is viewable here.

Keiter Announced New Tax Leader

Vincent J. Nadder

Vincent J. Nadder

Keiter (FY17 net revenue of $26.9 million) of Glen Allen, Va., announces that Vincent J. Nadder has been named the firm’s practice leader of the tax department, effective Jan. 1, 2019.

Nadder has over 24 years of experience in public accounting providing tax, consulting and accounting services to privately held companies. He serves on the firm’s executive committee and is PIC of the firm’s cost segregation services and historic rehabilitation tax credit services.

“Our firm has a solid reputation in the Virginia community for providing excellent tax and consulting services to both business and individual clients. As a result, we have seen tremendous growth over the past few years which I hope to continue during my tenure,” Nadder says.

In his new role, Nadder will oversee the strategic growth and development of Keiter’s tax department. This includes developing new opportunities for the department, marketing the firm’s services, identifying new professional development opportunities for the tax department team, and actively acquiring new talent.

Banc Compliance Group Joins Saltmarsh

Pensacola, Fla.-based Saltmarsh Cleaveland & Gund (FY17 net revenue of $18.5 million), with four offices in Florida and one in Nashville, Tenn., announces that Banc Compliance Group has merged with the firm.

As a new shareholder, BCG’s former principal Connie Edwards will lead Saltmarsh’s financial institution practice in Tennessee. The practice is dedicated to advising financial institutions of varying sizes and complexity.

“This merger allows us to expand existing services into Tennessee and related markets in order to further our mission to help financial institutions navigate the important challenges facing the industry today,” says Lee Bell, Saltmarsh president. “The Bank Advisors at Saltmarsh have a long-standing reputation for providing great service to financial institutions, as does Connie.”

The combined firm offers accounting, audit/assurance, tax, wealth advisory and many levels of specialized consulting services to clients throughout the U.S. and overseas.

INSIDE Public Accounting Unveils The 2018 Pyramid Awards

INSIDE Public Accounting (IPA) announced that three 2018 Best of the Best Accounting Firms will be recognized with Pyramid Awards this year at the eighth annual PRIME Symposium, Oct. 23-25, in Dallas.

The award recipients this year were: Miami-based MBAF, Pasadena, Calif.-based KROST and Little Rock, Ark.-based Frost PLLC.

MBAF was the recipient of IPA’s “Pyramid of Excellence” award. This high-performing firm ranked No. 1 among the elite 50 Best of the Best Firms selected by IPA. The rankings are based on data from the 29th annual IPA Survey and Analysis of Firms, which covers finances and operations in dozens of areas. This $124.3 million, IPA 100 firm, with 66 partners and 563 staff, has been named a Best of the Best firm 17 consecutive times.

KROST, once again, received the IPA Best of the Best “Fastest-Growing Pyramid Award.” With a 29.6% growth rate, this firm has demonstrated impressive results with no mergers to enhance that number. This is KROST’s third consecutive year as an IPA Best of the Best firm and Fastest-Growing firm. The $33.1 million firm ranked No. 110 on the IPA 200 list.

Frost PLLC received the IPA Best of the Best “Pyramid Award.” The $29.4 million firm, ranked No. 124 on the IPA 200 list, first appeared as a Best of the Best firm in 1996. Since then, IPA has named Frost a Best of the Best firm 21 times. Frost sustains financial and operational excellence year after year.

View a complete listing of the 2018 IPA Best of the Best.

Subscribe to the INSIDE Public Accounting Newsletter.

Order the 2018 Benchmarking Report.

IPA Spotlight On … Gary Wallace

Name: Gary Wallace

Gary Wallace

Title: MP-Elect

Firm: Glen Allen, Va.-based Keiter (FY17 net revenue of $27 million)

Accomplishments:

  • Elected MP to start in new role in January 2019.
  • Joined Keiter as partner in 2010 and currently leads tax practice and is member of executive committee.
  • Worked in public accounting for 30 years at KPMG and now Keiter. Has also served as CFO for a prominent family office.
  • Specializes in taxation, including transaction structuring and consulting with business owners.

You will take over as MP on January 1st. How are you preparing for the transition from Mike Gracik?

Our firm has taken a systematic approach to succession including my new role as managing partner. Our process began over a year ago and Mike has done a great job in preparing me with everything from “shadowing” to participating in key firm decisions. His approach has been very effective for me personally as well as with our team, clients and our community.

You haven’t ‘grown up’ professionally in accounting firms alone. Do you believe your private sector experience will aid you in guiding the future of Keiter? If so, why? What do you feel you need to learn about the profession?

My career in public accounting will be very valuable in leading our firm. I learned from many great leaders and role models as well as from working through my own situations. On-the-job experiences will significantly benefit me because I have gone through many of the decisions and life lessons that I may potentially face. However, my private sector experience as a CFO broadened my breadth of business understanding and was a great learning experience on how to operate a business. As a past CFO, I participated in business decisions, which will assist me with firm decisions at Keiter and will also give me a better understanding of our clients’ decision-making. The combination of public accounting and private industry experience provides a unique perspective for leading our firm.

What are your growth goals for Keiter?

Growth is important for our firm, primarily because it allows and provides rewarding opportunities for our current partners as well as our future leaders. I am enthusiastic about growing our practice areas and seeking new service opportunities to support our clients, as well as our people and community. Accounting firms are experiencing many changes, from technology to client needs. Embracing new opportunities comes with our entrepreneurial spirit and will guide us for our growth goals going forward.

You’ve said that one of your priorities as MP is to expand support to the Richmond, Va., community. What do you have in mind?

Keiter has a great reputation in our community. I hear the appreciation that our clients and community leaders have for us every day. I want us to be more focused on how our services and support makes a difference. Our community deserves our effort and our team feels the rewards from such support. There is no master plan to expanding our support. It’s simply to keep our clients and community top of mind as we conduct our business and volunteer our time.

Final thoughts?

Why do I look forward to this new opportunity? It’s simple. I am excited to be making a difference for our team, clients and community.